April 23, 2009
HAWKEYES THIS WEEKEND:The Iowa Hawkeyes will host Michigan State at Duane Banks Field Friday-Sunday in a three-game series. Iowa hopes to distance itself from the bottom of the conference standings this weekend. Michigan State is in a three-way tie for sixth, Iowa is just one and a half games behind sixth place.
HAWKEYES ON THE NET: Iowa baseball fans can follow the Hawkeyes, as live stats will be available on hawkeyesports.com. Just click on the Gametracker link found on both the front page and the baseball schedule page.
HAWKEYES ON THE AIR: Hawkeye fans can catch most Hawkeye games on AM-800 KXIC. The Voice of the Hawkeyes, Brent Balbinot, will call the play-by-play. All games this weekend will be Internet only broadcasts.
HAWKEYES ON THE AIR: Iowa’s two weekend games against the Spartans will be televised live on the Big Ten Network (HD). Rob Blackman and former Hawkeye Danan Hughes will call the action. Saturday and Sunday’s contests will be the Hawkeyes’ last two games televised on the network this season.
SCOUTING MICHIGAN STATE: The Spartans are 14-23 and 5-7 in conference play. Last weekend, Michigan State got a win against the Wolverines, but dropped the series, 2-1. The Spartans’ offense is led by Eli Boike. He leads the team in batting average (.313), doubles (7), homers (7), RBI (25), slugging percentage (.527), walks (25) and on base percentage (.426). Michigan State’s starters, Nolan Moody and AJ Achter lead the team with nine starts each. They combine for 72 strikeouts and just over a 3.3 ERA. Iowa trails the all-time series between the two schools, 56-66-1.
HITS, HITS, HITS!: Seventeen Hawkeyes have recorded at least one multi-hit game this season. Leading the team is Justin Toole with 17, followed by Ryan Durant with 14 and T.J. Cataldo with 11. Nine players are hitting above .300 so far this season, five of which are freshmen who have capitalized on their chances to play.
WESTERN ILLINOIS SUMMARY: Iowa cruised to a 20-7 triumph over Western Illinois tonight in front of 1,234 fans at Modern Woodmen Park. In the victory, the Hawkeyes pounded out 16 hits, nine of which were for extra bases. The 20 runs are the second-most by Iowa this season (25 vs. Tennessee- Martin). Iowa scored at least one run in six of its eight at-bats. Six Hawkeyes recorded multiple RBI, while five had multiple hits en route to victory. Justin Toole went a perfect 4-for-4 with a season-high five RBI, three runs, a home run and a double. Ryan Durant went 2-for-3 with two RBI, two doubles, three runs scored and a walk.
DURANT IS STREAKIN’: Junior Ryan Durant has an active 13- game hitting streak heading into this weekend’s contests vs. the Spartans. The 13-game hit streak is second-best on the team this year; Justin Toole had a 15-game streak earlier in the year.
IOWA GETS GOING IN THE FIRST: Against the Leathernecks this week, the Hawkeyes scored nine runs in the first, which is a fourth of their first inning total for the entire year.
THREE THINGS TO WATCH THIS WEEKEND:
1. Junior Ryan Durant is streakin’ with an 13-game hitting streak. Look for him to continue it. He is hitting a solid .359 and drove in the game winning run against UNI this week, with two out in the bottom of the ninth and the bases loaded.
2. Justin Toole is hitting a team-best .360 on the year after a tremendous two midweek games. Toole went 6-for-8 with five RBI and a homer this week and is on a five-game hitting streak.
3. Look for Phil Schreiber to continue hitting his spots Sunday. The freshman righty picked up his second win of the season against Western Illinois Tuesday, throwing three innings and striking out two. He has the lowest ERA of a starter on the team with a 3.25.
IOWA COMES BACK AFTER THE 7TH: In their ninth inning thriller against Northern Iowa, the Hawkeyes picked up their first win of the season when trailing after seven innings (1-19).
NORTHERN IOWA SUMMARY: The Hawkeyes rallied with two late inning runs to propel Iowa to a thrilling 5-4 victory over in-state rival Northern Iowa Wednesday at Duane Banks Field. Iowa has now won three-straight games, matching a season high. The Hawkeyes got the timely hit they needed in the bottom of the ninth, off the bat of Ryan Durant, who lined the game-winning hit into center field for his 25th RBI of the season, scoring Kody McManis. McManis drew a walk to start off the inning and Trevor Willis laid his team-best fifth sacrifice bunt to move him over. With one runner on, the Panthers elected to intentionally walk Justin Toole. After a wild pitch, moving runners to second and third, Hoef was intentionally walked to load the bases. Durant came up big with the walk off-two-out single to center. Leading the Hawkeyes, offensively, were Durant, Toole and McQuillan. Durant finished the game going 2-for-5, with two RBI and two runs scored. Toole went 2-for-4 and a walk, while McQuillan went 2-for-3 with two RBI.
NUMBER OF THE WEEK IS 12: Iowa has had 12 different players see action in left field this season: Ryan Durant, Jeff Pacha, Dallas Burke, Nick Brown, Zach McCool, Kurtis Muller, Sean Flanagan, Trevor Willis, Mike McQuillan, Chett Zeise, Phil Keppler and Andrew Ewing. Nine of the 12 have started at least one game; the only players not to start in left are Willis, Burke and Ewing. Flanagan has started the last three of the last four games in left, batting 5-13 (.385), with a home run and two RBI.
FRESHMAN BIG TEN STARTERS: For the first time under Head Coach Jack Dahm the Hawkeyes are starting three freshman during Big Ten contests. Nick Brown, Jarred Hippen and Phil Schreiber will take the mound again this week. “Each one of them has earned their starts, it wasn’t given to them,” Dahm said.
FRIDAY, 6 P.M.
IA – Nick Brown (RHP, FR, 6-4, 208)
MSU – NOLAN MOODY (RHP)
NOTING: Brown has been giving Iowa quality starts this year, despite having two relief appearances earlier in the season — Brown is still averaging five innings an appearance on the mound.
SATURDAY, 2:30 P.M.
IA – Jarred Hippen (LHP, FR, 6-3, 190)
MSU – AJ ACHTER (RHP)
NOTING: Hippen is averaging two strikeouts per walk this season, the best of any starter. He also leads the team in strikeouts with 35.
SUNDAY, 1:30 P.M.
IA – Phil Schreiber (RHP, FR, 6-0, 190)
MSU – TBA
NOTING: Schreiber picked up the win against Western Illinois this week. He currently has a 2-1 record with a 3.25 ERA.
HUGHES RETURNS: Former Hawkeye standout Danan Hughes will return to Duane Banks Field this weekend as an analyst for the Big Ten Network (HD). Hughes played outfield for the Hawkeye baseball team and is one of the best two-sport athletes in Iowa history. Hughes was drafted in the 3rd round of the 1992 draft by the Milwaukee Brewers. Hughes played wide receiver for Iowa from 1989 to 1992.
IN THE BIG TEN: Iowa ranks third in Big Ten doubles (75), first in hit-by-pitch (56) and second in stolen bases (52).
SCHURZ GETS A WIN: This week against UNI, Mike Schurz picked up his first win since returning from Tommy John. Schurz entered the game in the ninth inning and faced four batters, striking out two, to give the Hawkeyes a chance at winning in the bottom of the ninth.
“Q” COMES UP BIG: Freshman Mike McQuillan, known as “Q” to the guys, came up big against Northern Iowa, getting an eighth inning RBI double to tie up the ballgame, 4-4. McQuillan went 2-for-3 with two RBI on the night.